We create many types of reports & communication mediums. Break it down to: SENDER - MESSAGE - RECEIVER.

Then go from there.  Make sure the communication tool is directly related to the type of information, audience and influencers present.  Don't over complicate and over administer it, humans have a short attention span and love to complicate things ;-) If creating reports, then simplify them where possible, differentiate between technical detailed reports and status/update reports (much more common).

Some tips are to identify the audience and the influencers that could impact how the information is received and interpreted. Ensure the communication tool aligns with the risks at hand.  Example influencers include:
  • related work experience;
  • knowledge/education;
  • expectation;
  • vested interest;
  • past experiences;
  • agenda (both personal and business related);
  • culture;
  • method (written, faxed, telephone, in person, multimedia);
  • understanding between needs and wants;
  • personality;
  • language;
  • technology comfort;
  • workload capacity;
  • conflicting prioritizations;
  • type of information (reports, updates, memos, meetings, change, issues, formal documents, emails, etc).